Last Fall Mr. Livingston and Ms. Gorsuch called me up with a request. They wanted to do something different for the cover of the 2018 Westwind and asked if I could help out. Hearing their idea, I immediately answered “YES!”. Their idea was to get some willing marching band drummers together and have their drums come alive and erupt in red, white, and blue in a lenticular that would explode in color and excitement on the cover. It would Surprise You!
Immediately I set to work to make this vision come alive. With the help of Mr. Klaes, we recruited several willing models for the session. We practiced a bit in the courtyard at West Henderson High School during percussion class where we used white flour to figure out which drums would work best. Then a few days later, we met with the Westwind yearbook staff in the evening and tried to catch a remarkable sunset to help backlight the scene. Well, sadly, the sunset never materialized, but the studio flashes I brought along with me provided just the right amount of kick to bring out the colors against the dark sky. After a few different combinations and some coaching from the Westwind students, Antoni, Bryn, and Quinten were able to land the cover shot when they provided the right amount of energy and surprise that the project needed.
The final shots are compilations of the best photos we took of the two nights of capture. The trick was to capture images with all four drums exploding at once and getting the colors bright and vibrant across all the need images. The plume of paint was very real, and as you can see in some of the outtakes the colored powder went everywhere! (The uniforms were dry-cleaned so they were ready for the next band competition!) These photography sessions took about 4 hours total, along with a couple more hours in Photoshop cleaning things up and aligning the images so they were ready for the publisher. It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun!
After reviewing the final results this weekend, I think that the hard work accomplished by the band students, yearbook staff, and mentors worked out to create quite the surprise! I am so grateful to be a part of this fine group of people in creating this. Well done, everyone!
Outtakes from the session: